It’s summer and it seems like this is the time when I should be able to relax my mind, yet there are millions of thoughts flying in every direction. The following is a collection of some of those things.
“Bang Bang Bang” by Mark Ronson featuring MNDR and Q-Tip.
My friend Eleanor shared this song with me and I have come to thoroughly love it. It’s just fun and incorporates lyrics from “Alouette”–what more could you want? Also, the music video is awesome. “Ronsons–le gouter qui bang!”
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruíz
After reading a great article about the spiritual argument for same-sex marriage by a CC friend, I picked up a book she referenced called The Four Agreements. In the book, the descendent of a line of Toltec shamans, Miguel Ruíz, explains that there are four basic steps necessary to live happily and peacefully with those around us. Essentially, one must agree with oneself to the following practices:
- Be Impeccable With Your Words
- Don’t Take Anything Personally
- Don’t Make Assumptions
- Always Do Your Best
I find myself trying to put all of these practices into use every day. I have to be mindful of them, but some of them are becoming more automatic–being impeccable with my words, for example. The idea behind this tenet is that our words are our one source of original expression, of original transformation of our will into communication. To be impeccable with words is to say only exactly what I mean, to not disguise negativity in my words, and to not gossip. I definitely self-check myself before I speak now, which I’ve found has already prevented me from saying some things of questionable intent, and I’m already happy to be more positive and intentional with the way I speak. I hope that the other practices will help me to become a happier person and a better friend.
In an attempt to get into better shape, I’ve adopted smoothies as a regular component of my diet–generally one in the morning and maybe one for lunch. I buy Naked Juice smoothies and then blend them with skim milk and ice. I’m starting to feel like they’re not a great idea because they’re pretty sweet and I’ve gotten my best results by adopting diets with foods with low glycemic indexes…but they are filling and make me feel pretty good in the morning…hmmm…trade-offs. For other meals I’m trying to go heavy on salads with vinegar and oil dressing, tomatoes, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
What’s probably more important is that I should go to the gym more often. Early in the spring semester, I went to the gym almost every morning before class, or late every night to do cardio. I probably lost 15 pounds in a month and a half, which I’d like to do again. I just need to commit myself to going daily in the summer, which is more difficult than it seems it should be. Mrah. It’s been nice to go with my brother and also my best friend sometimes, I just need more consistency.
Écoutez, France, j’arrive!
I finally just got clearance from the French Consulate to conveniently fly to Los Angeles in order to apply in person for a student Visa for my semester-and-then-some in France this fall. So later this month I’ll fly out of Colorado Springs at 6 in the morning, show up at the Consulate, do a little dance for them, and then hopefully walk out with a shiny new Visa. Then I’ll wander around LA and hopefully get into some light trouble before flying back to the Springs and arriving there at midnight. Dix-huit heures de full-on-fun! Laissez les bons temps rouler! is what I say! But I am very excited to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence this fall at the American University Center of Provence. And, because CC requires a half-block orientation in Paris for the program in order to receive full credit for the program, I’ll spend all of December somewhere in the Eastern hemisphere, probably visiting friends in the Middle East (شرق الاوسط–“sharq el owset”) to practice my Arabic and Hebrew. About this trip, I am super excited, and it will be my first extended stay outside of the US. Kinda nervous, but so ready for it.
Don’t Lose Yourself
I think I’m observing my dad become depressed and stressed out, and that bothers me a lot as he has always been the column of support in my life. It’s silly, but I’ve always had a favorite song associated with his contact in my phone as his ringtone; every time he calls, Laura Veirs’s song “Don’t Lose Yourself” plays and I hear the line
Don’t lose yourself; don’t let yourself be lost.
I always benefit from it, but now I want to return the message to my dad and hopefully remind him that things will always work out in the end–it just takes holding on.
The death of the word was upon us
And the discipline of the wind
We see less and less all the time, dear
Just look at this mess we are in
Don’t lose yourself
Don’t let yourself be lost
Don’t lose yourself
Don’t let yourself be lost